Saturday, March 19, 2011

SAT 3/19: Ship, Beer, Art, Beard, Theatre, Music

It's a bit easier to choose from today's list. It mainly depends on what kind of musical flavor you'd like: rootsy singer-songwriters, modern rock with or without an Icelandic twist, powerpoppy tuneage, or old-time rock 'n roll.

And there's other cheap fun to have (and Sunday too).


SAT 3/19 (to MON 3/21)

10am to 4pm
USS Ross: Tours
at Black Falcon Cruise Ship Terminal, 88 Black Falcon Ave, Boston (Seaport)

SUN: Noon to 4pm

Is a "destroyer" a "battleship", because this looks like one of the ships from the old game?

While they're in town for tomorrow's St Paddy's Parade, people can take tours of the ship on a first-come, first-served basis.

All visitors to the ship will be screened and are subject to search. No weapons, bags of any kind, or drinking containers will be allowed on board. Small purses and cameras will be permitted.

Visitors are welcome to photograph the exterior of the ship only. Photography of the interior is not permitted.
Other than that, don't touch anything!

SAT 3/19

2pm to 5pm
3rd annual Grand Brew Fest
at Ball Square Fine Wines, 716 Broadway, Somerville (Ball Sq)
FREE / 21+

If you love beer in the way in that you're willing to try something new, think about swinging by Ball Square to try about 40 beers you probably haven't tasted before.

If you LOVE beer that's strange and uncommon to push you beer envelope, then there still must be some new beers to enjoy before buying. Have you had a "Monk’s Blood Belgian Dark Ale"? I didn't think so.

There will be discounts in play, so you'll be more inclined to bring a new favorite home. The earlier you get there, the better chance you have to taste everything.

SAT 3/19

2pm to 5pm
"Lester Johnson: In Memoriam": Opening Reception
at Acme Fine Art, 38 Newbury Street, Boston (Back Bay)

I don't recall reading about Johnson's death last year. It turns out that he was a major artist of the last 50 years as a leader in "Figurative Expressionism" as well as an educator at Yale.

I like this quote from Lester:
There is no balance in my paintings because balance seems to me to be static. Life, which I try to reflect in my paintings is dynamic. To me, my paintings are action paintings –- paintings that move across the canvas, paintings that do not get stuck, but flow like time.
This exhibit is a retrospective of 18 paintings from 1959 to 1971 that will be on view through 4/30.

SAT 3/19

3pm to 6pm
All-American Beard & Moustache Competition
at Precinct, 70 Union Sq, Somerville (Union Sq)
$5 / Free to compete

I can't help but admire people with good facial hair, because it's not only a question of genetics but of patience and confidence and creativity. Why not have an event to celebrate hirsute feats of strength and guile.

Contestants will vie for prizes in 5 categories:
- natural full beard
- freestyle full beard
- freestyle moustache
- freestyle partial beard (includes goatees, sideburns, etc)
- best fake beard
Those who don't compete will support the Somerville Arts Council that organizes lots of cool stuff. The deadline to enter was 3/11, but maybe they'll have extra space...


SAT 3/19

7:30pm, 10pm
"Bear Patrol"
at Boston Playwrights Theatre, 949 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)
$8 / $4 students

10pm -- $4 or try "MONKEY" for $4 as the discount code for the early show

I still didn't go to tell you about this show. From what I can gather, this seems to be a post-apocalyptic, beats-heavy, Boston-based take on a "Wizard of Oz" road tale that examines the bonds of family and friendship.

Playwright John J. King said:
I wanted to do a show that was a blast for the audience. When I read the novel of the Wizard of Oz, I kept finding strange connections to Boston, and it’s been fun to create this tour of our city thru the eyes and narrative-arc of a story we all know and love. The familiarity of the tale and setting, I hope, will give the audience a lot to connect to and laugh at.
Ain't it great that we can affordably see wild & crazy theater?

This show "runs 90 minutes", and is "not appropriate for children under 16."

SAT 3/19

8pm to 10:30pm
"For the Sake of the Song": A Tribute to Neil Young
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)

Feat: James Houlahan, Patrick Coman, Brendan Hogan, Flightless Buttress

Whenever I think of Neil Young, I think of an uncompromising musical artist who looks forward with roots in the past. It's easy to forget how many great songs this guy has written, and tonight should be a good refresher.

If anything occasionally bugs me about Neil is the high, scratchy voice, and that's the beauty of this gig -- Neil won't be there to sing any of them.

Some of our fine singer-songwriter types will pay tribute to Young by singing his songs, their songs, and discussing his influence like they've done for Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt in the past.

SAT 3/19

Amiina, Thick As Thieves, Twin Berlin
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / 18+

Oh, Iceland. Besides the collapse of their financial system and a major volcanic explosion that ruined air travel for a while. That doesn't stop them from coming to Boston and encouraging us to visit their beautiful land. If you slur the name it sounds a bit like Ireland, and it's closer.

For the free show, Amiina has flown over to do their string-quartet-turned-atmospheric-string-based ensemble. That's Amiina when you see a string section with Sigur Ros. There's not a lot of singing, so be prepared to slow down and listen.

Requiring less attention are two local rock bands that specialize in the uptempo angst and melody that should still have a bigger space on the global scene.


SAT 3/19

Justin Levinson, Nini + Ben, Jennah Bell
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

I just think that Justin Levinson kicks ass at piano-based pop, and he has a look in his eyes that there's a lot going on even when he's standing still. There's a compelling look in Jennah Bell's video on her site where the camera holds close as sings at a BART station.

The story goes that Nini and Ben wrote a song together when they were 16 then they fell in love. It doesn't really matter, because the music is so lovely that there must be some truth in a possibly tall tale.

SAT 3/19

Taxpayer, The Fatal Flaw, Tiny Animals
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$9 / 21+

As far as choices go, this is a bit like the free show at the Middle East. There's a lot of catchy modern rock, but no Icelandic music. It's not free yet The Fatal Flaw is really awesome. The music rocks with enough grit to carry those beautiful melodies and wry lyrics to plane where all flavors of music fans can coexist. Gotta love a band that writes songs referencing Journey ("Don't Start Believing") and Guns 'n Roses ("Where's Izzy?"). If you want more credentials, singer/guitarist Joel also plays with The Mr T Experience and The Avengers.

The other two bands are good too.

SAT 3/19

Barrence Whitfield & the Monkey Hips, Artie and the Amoebas
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain

With his mighty soulful singing, Barrence Whitfield should be in the pantheon of rock/R&B singers. He is something like a missing musical link that skipped from Little Richard directly to the Boston rock scene of the '80s. The Monkey Hips are a squad of rockin' dudes including a sax player.

Joining along for the ride is a bunch of Worcester rock vets get together for they call "Frat Rock" twistin' music. My virtual buddy Easy Ed will spin the apropos vinyl to keep things hopping for socks or shoes.


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